Local artists are invited to participate in an exciting event this year on the Clay County Fairgrounds during the World’s Greatest County Fair. Spencer’s Arts on Grand is hosting its first “Plein Air at the Fair” painting festival at various locations throughout the fair. They are currently seeking artists interested in participating in this unique artistic event. Plein Air art is a style of painting originating in France in the mid-19th century. It is characterized by the artist using natural light and creating his or her piece while sitting amidst the atmosphere in which they are painting, as opposed to work created in a studio setting.
No matter who you are, there is something for everyone at the 2019 Clay County Fair, September 7-15. “While every day at the Fair is full of fun activities, there are some activities that only happen once on a special day,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. Veterans Appreciation Day
Monday, September 9, is Veteran’s Appreciation Day sponsored by Okoboji Motor Company. The day starts with a parade at 10 a.m. and a special program to follow at 11 a.m.
All veterans and active duty military will receive free admission to the Fair, as a thank you for their service to our Nation. In addition, there will be a special patriotic music program at 2 p.m. by Glenn Henriksen in the Events Center Ballroom.
Fun for everyone is always the focus at the Clay County Fair, September 7-15. The Clay County Fair will once again join Arts on Grand for fairgoers to enjoy fun activities and unique items at the Art Barn during the 2019 Fair. Fair attendees will be able to view working art demonstrations, participate in marking art, and even purchasing outstanding items.
Each day, the Art Barn will host local performers as part of the “Homegrown Talent Series” on the Art Barn Stage at 1 p.m. Performers scheduled include Prarieland Troubadours (September 7), Chris and Allison Oyler (September 8), Jessie James Band (September 9), Robert Johnson (September 10), The House Wrens (September 11), Carter Nath (September 12), DJ Myra Money (September 13), Greg Taylor (September 14), and LD3 (September 15).
The always popular Grandpa’s Barn will include a new edition this year with a free range pasture for the animals to roam during the Fair. Baby animals, growing crops, tractor cab simulators presented by Clay County Farm Bureau, and a milking parlor sponsored by MaxYield will educate fairgoers of all ages.
Sundholm Log Cabin
The Sundholm Log Cabin will bring fun educational opportunities to the Fair with live animals, hands-on activities, and more. Naturalist programs will be held daily at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. with activities involving reptiles, amphibians, bison, mammals, turtles and more.
The Clay County Fair open class livestock entry deadline is rapidly approaching. All livestock entries for beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep, and horses are due on Wednesday, August 15, whether this is online, in person, or via mail. Daily open class livestock shows are a highlight for many fairgoers with an expected 500 exhibitors who will show more than 2,000 head of livestock in 2019. In addition to the open classes, there are also more than 800 4-H and FFA exhibitors that show at the Fair. “Livestock competition is a cornerstone of the Fair,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.
Gardeners are encouraged to enter their blue ribbon best in the Fields and Gardens Department at the 2019 Fair. One of the Fair’s original competitive departments, Fields and Gardens will yet again have another great year of showing. “Through the times of struggle with Mother Nature and all – we are still hopeful for a good turn out on produce and exhibits for Fair,” stated superintendent Jerry Groenewold. The Fields and Gardens Department will have the Largest Pumpkin Contest, where producers can enter the largest weighing pumpkin from their patch and see who will win the title. Along with this contest, there is also the Best Corn Contest where an exhibitor can bring in their best ten ears of corn to be judged.
The Farmers Bank Stage will present six different acts at the nine-day Clay County Fair, September 7-15. “The Farmers Bank Stage is a popular spot for many of our fairgoers because of its high-quality entertainment acts,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “The tent in southwest corner of the fairgrounds will be the place to be again this year.”
Thistle & Lace, September 7-9Sean Emery, September 7-9Marv Nissel Band, September 10-12Tuey, September 10-12Noah Sonie, September 13-15Forever Elvis, September 13-15
September 7-9: Thistle & Lace, Sean Emery
New to the Clay County Fair this year is Thistle & Lace (September 7-9), an acoustic trio that combines spot-on harmonies with different hits from the past 80 years. The group’s fun and friendly personalities along with audience interactions makes them perfect for any song lover and family. Along with Thistle & Lace will be Sean Emery, a comedian and juggler with circus skills, showmanship, and funny remarks. Emery, who was a Barnum & Bailey and Ringling Bros.
The Northwest Bank Stage will feature six different quality acts at the nine-day Clay County Fair, Sept. 7-15. This is just a portion of the $200,000 in free entertainment offered to fairgoers. “Fairgoers have come to expect top-notch free entertainment when they attend our Fair,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “That expectation will be met again this year with nine unbelievable acts on the Northwest Bank Stage.”
Miss Myra & the Moonshiners, September 7-9The Sound Exchange, September 7-9John Bush, September 10-12The Holy Rocka Rollaz, September 10-12Fantastick Patrick, September 13-15Bill and Elton – The Hits – A Tribute Concert by Phil Thompson, September 13-15
September 7-9: Miss Myra & The Moonshiners, The Sound Exchange
An instrumental and singing group that transports their audience to the streets of New Orleans and the night clubs of Paris, Miss Myra & The Moonshiners have a fresh take on 1920’s and 1930’s jazz and blues classics, Sept. 7-9.
A long-time food stand at the Clay County Fair has changed ownership. The stand – located just north of the “Dish Plaza” – has been operated by the Spencer Kiwanis After 5 Club since 2002. Over the years the food stand has been known for its handmade malts and sundaes, as well as brats and loaded baked potatoes. Due to the majority of the club members’ busy work/volunteer schedules during the fair, the club felt it was in their best interest to sell the food stand. After working closely with Clay County Fair management to identify potential buyers, an agreement was made with the Spencer Family YMCA to become new owners of the food stand.
The Clay County Fair Textiles, Crafts, and Arts Department will again showcase memorable creativity in the Creative Living Center at the 2019 Fair, September 7-15. “We always look forward to the wide variety of exhibits brought to the fair, and this year there are a few new changes to the sponsors,” said Superintendent Terri Chalstrom. “Quilting on Main in Pocahontas, Warm Company of Lynnwood, Quilt n Kaboodle of Cherokee, and Quilters Portable of Mallard are all new sponsors for this year’s Fair.”
The 2019 Fair will also exhibit a special feature class with the theme of “pigs” as Iowa raises more pigs than any other state. The challenge of this class is to showcase an entry of pigs within any class of the department. The variety of exhibits can be entered under several different classes including needlework, painting, crochet, quilting, patchwork, garment making, woodworking, and computer generated work.
With new themes and a new sponsor, now is a perfect time to begin sorting through all of the photos you have taken since the 2018 Fair and enter them in one of the many photography competitions at the 2019 Clay County Fair. Photographers may enter up to 12 photographs with one entry per class. Divisions include color photographs or black and white photographs of people, places, landscape, things, plants, or animals/insects world. A separate division for creative photography allows photographers to use different techniques to alter the photograph, including computer manipulation, multi-images into one photo, camera filters and trick lenses. A separate class, other than above, is available for people who have altered an image other than the three categories.